Vendors: What to Book & When

The trees and flowers are blooming which means Spring is upon us and so is the start of Colorado’s wedding season! If you are joyfully looking forward to your wedding this year we wish you all the best and hope your wedding is all that you dream of. If you are newly engaged, (congratulations!) or still looking for vendors for later this year, check out this guideline from WeddingWire about when you should be hiring certain vendors.  And continue reading for some helpful do’s and don’ts from A Vintage Affair on the planning process! Hopefully this will help you with your own planning process and make it a little more fun!

A little recap! And a few extra tips from us.

12 months before: Ceremony & Reception Venues, Wedding Planner

You want to book the venues as one of the first vendors because it will determine your wedding date. If you book far enough out a planner can help you choose the venue if you would like, but it’s hard to book other vendors without your date set.

Do: When looking into venues consider who you and your fiancé are, what you like to do and your aesthetics. Are you two big foodies? Your favorite restaurant could be a great reception spot. Check out these restaurant weddings! The Kitchen and Coohills. Do you two like to spend time outdoors? Consider something out of the city, a little closer to the foothills, or even in the mountains like Lyon’s Farmette, Vail Nordic Center, Taharra Mountain Lodge.

Are either of you from a state with more water? There are a few venues with running rivers or a lake on property! See Piney River Ranch, Riverbend, Evergreen Lake House. Do you both lean towards a more modern or industrial style? Maybe look closer into the city, as there are venues that cater to this style. Places like Blanc, Moss and McNichols Building may be great for you. Remember, it’s about you two that day, so choose what makes you both happy!

Be sure to check out our Pinterest page and WeddingWire’s venues page to check out even more venues!

When it comes to the planner, make sure you connect. You will be working with your planner the duration of the planning process whether that be five months or a year and a half.

Don’t: What I’m about to say will hold true to ever vendor on this list. Maybe parents, other family or even friends will be helping you pay for the wedding, totally normal. What we want you to remember is that it’s still yours and your fiancé’s special day. Take the others opinions into consideration, but don’t make big decisions based on what whoever’s paying wants, especially if it goes against what you really want. There are ways to thank those helping you with the wedding, without compromising your dreams.

10 months: Photographer, Videographer, Florist, Caterer

Do: Again, you want to make sure you vibe well with your photographer. Aside from one another, you and your fiancé will be with your photographer more than anyone else that day. You want to make sure you both get along well with whoever you choose. The same goes with the videographer.

When you narrow down your selection of caterers, it is okay to go to more than one tasting. We’d probably recommend narrowing it down to two but no more than three. Menus are a great way to figure out what you’re going to serve, but until you actually taste what the caterer has to offer, you won’t know for sure if you like it or LOVE it!

Here at A Vintage Affair, we have a love affair (get it?!) with flowers. So we get excited to discuss your flowers, hear what you want and help you find which florist we think you’d mesh with the best. Again, take your style into consideration, are you more romantic, free spirited, traditional or a mix? All florists have their own signature and style. Chat with your planner about it and they can point you in the right direction.

Don’t: Even if florals may not be in your top priorities it is definitely important to seek florists out early on.  Again let your planner know your priorities so they can point you to someone who would work well with you, your vision and your budget. But it’s always sad when a couple leaves florals last, because they aren’t as focused on flowers so the florists we would recommend to them are already booked. As you can see from this list, florists book out months in advance so better sooner than later.

9 months: Band or DJ

Do: Consider the range in prices for bands. They can range vastly among bands and with the amount of people you want to hire. If you’ve always imagined a band at your wedding but don’t have the budget for a 10 piece band consider going down in number of band players.  A three to five piece band can be just as awesome! A guitar, drums, and bass with a vocalist is a good starting point and then you can add on keys & horns etc… 

8 months: Ceremony Music (if different from Band or DJ), Guest Accommodations, Officiant, Wedding Dress, Stationery Save the Dates

Do: When making guest accommodations check if hotels can provide transportation to the venue for potential guests staying there. Some venues even have an arrangement with venues and transportation companies and if a certain number of guests are staying on property they will work directly with a transportation company to book a bus.

7 months: Cake Baker, Bridesmaid Dresses, Honeymoon Travel Consultant
6 months: Stationery Invitations, Makeup Artist, Hair Stylist, Rentals

Do: We absolutely recommend doing a trial with both your hair stylist and makeup artist before the wedding date. It helps ensure that you are on the same page with each other on what you want and you’ll know if you really do like that look from Pinterest or if you need to change it up a little bit.

5 months: Men’s Attire, Accessories, Transportation
3 months: Favors, Wedding Rings

While you do not have to follow this guideline exactly, it is a good place to start. Our biggest takeaway: don’t wait to book your vendors! Happy happy wedding planning to all of you. Remember to enjoy the process, have fun planning!